Month: October 2019

Lets Meet the Real Housewives of TorontoLets Meet the Real Housewives of Toronto

first_img Facebook Twitter Advertisement Login/Register With: We’d bet a cottage compound in Muskoka you have almost nothing in common with The Real Housewives of Toronto.They have Botox for breakfast and caviar for lunch, for goodness sakes. Who can say the same?Thankfully, there are some redeeming qualities in the six women chosen to star — sorry, be real versions of themselves — in the inaugural season of the Slice series, debuting Tuesday. They are all devoted moms and wives — and at least one of them is her household’s primary breadwinner. Advertisementcenter_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement So there, they are totally relatable. You can’t blame them because they can jet off to a five-star Turks and Caicos resort at a moment’s notice — can you? Can you?Let’s meet the crew:Kara AllowayMarried to: Lawyer Graham Alloway, for 22 years. They have three sons.By day: She organizes charity fundraisers, attends fashion shows and works as the marketing director for her husband’s firm.By night: She parties it up with Toronto’s elite — but not too hard, so as not to go against her born-again Christian values.Conflict potential: High. Kara’s traditional way of life — and her me-first approach — will undoubtedly rub some Housewives the wrong way.Words to live by: “Money makes you well known, but your character makes you worth knowing.”Roxy EarleMarried to: Tech investor Raghu Earle. They have two children from Raghu’s previous marriage and one spoiled dog.By day: She takes her fuzzball Lola to the salon, takes herself to the spa and works on her own lifestyle brand.By night: She selects a curve-hugging dress from the closet of her sprawling Yorkville estate and goes to whatever party the rest of the wives are going to.Conflict potential: High. Roxy isn’t afraid to say the first thing that springs to mind.Words to live by: “Some people love me, some people hate me, but nobody forgets me.”Joan Kelley WalkerMarried to: Magna International CEO Don Walker (one of the richest men in Canada). They have two kids together, and he has two kids from a previous marriage.By day: She travels, shops and tends to her humanitarian duties.By night: She is often the one throwing the party — whether it be at their King City compound, downtown condo, vacation homes in Colorado and Miami, or their giant cottage in Muskoka.Conflict potential: Moderate. This small-town girl, raised in Wilcox, Sask., embraces her privileged big-city life, and does whatever she wants.Words to live by: “I didn’t believe in fairy tales until I found myself living one.”Jana WebbMarried to: No one, at the moment. She has one son.By day: She focuses on growing her company JOGA (Yoga for Jocks), which has over 300 trainers across Canada who train thousands of athletes, including MLB, NBA and CFL pros.By night: She focuses on finding Mr. Right Now — as opposed to Mr. Right — if you catch her drift.Conflict potential: Low. This sunshiny fitness buff keeps it real with Beaches neighbourhood besties Gregoriane and Joan. Words to live by: “You’ve got to be in great shape if you want to climb to the top.”Gregoriane MinotMarried to: Nightclub owner and restaurateur Pierre Jutras. They have two children.By day: Planning exclusive parties.By night: Attending exclusive parties. If there’s a dance floor, you can bet Gregoriane (known as Grego) and her Louboutins are going to tear it up.Conflict potential: Moderate. But this Montreal-raised former actress can’t help it if others can’t handle her joie de vivre!Words to live by: “My life is a party and the world is my dance floor.”Ann Kaplan MulhollandMarried to: Plastic surgeon Dr. Stephen Mulholland. They have two children together, two who are solely hers, two who are Stephen’s, and two others they took in after a family tragedy, for a total of eight.By day: She is the CEO and president of iFinance Canada Inc. and also an author, public speaker and supporter of Fashion Cares.By night: She parties with the rest of the women, but, given her responsibilities, is probably the first one to call it a night.Conflict potential: Moderate. Ann is a self-made business woman doesn’t suffer fools or pettiness gladly — though her sarcastic sense of humour often helps break up tension between the women.Words to live by: “Why be a golddigger when you can own the mine?”The Real Housewives of Toronto debuts March 7 on Slicelast_img read more

Shania Twain and Nick Jonas record the ultimate Christmas duetShania Twain and Nick Jonas record the ultimate Christmas duet

first_imgNick explained in a post on Instagram that when he wrote the song he had only one duet partner in mind. “When I wrote this song a few months back with the Monsters & Strangerz there was only one artist… one voice I wanted to sing it with, and thankfully she agreed to do it! Thank you @shaniatwain for making my Christmas. Hope you guys like it,” wrote the star, alongside a longer clip of the beautiful tune.READ MORE Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisement The festive track is featured alongside songs by Elton John and Fall Out Boy on the recently-released six-track compilation album Island – This Is Christmas. Shania Twain and Nick Jonas are here to remind us it’s the most wonderful time of the year! The musical powerhouses just released their new single “Say All You Want For Christmas,” and it has us ready for the holidays.center_img Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Advertisementlast_img read more

Michael Buble and wife Luisana Lopilato welcome baby girlMichael Buble and wife Luisana Lopilato welcome baby girl

first_imgJuno host Michael Buble and his wife Luisana Lopilato attend the red carpet arrivals at the 2018 Juno Awards at Rogers Arena on March 25, 2018 in Vancouver. (Phillip Chin/Getty Images) Advertisement Facebook Advertisement Advertisement Buble’s rep says the family is “beyond overjoyed.”Vida’s middle names are in honour of her parents’ mothers: Amber is Buble’s mother’s name, while Lopilato mother’s name is Betty.Buble, who is Canadian, is a four-time Grammy winner with hits like “Haven’t Met You Yet.”center_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment NEW YORK — Michael Buble and Luisana Lopilato are the now the proud parents of a baby girl.Buble’s representative tells The Associated Press that Vida Amber Betty was born Wednesday in Vancouver. She is 6 pounds, 1 ounce.Buble and Lopilato have two sons, Elias and Noah. Lopilato, an Argentine TV actress, posted a photo of her baby girl’s hand Thursday on Instagram. Login/Register With: Twitterlast_img read more

OPP suspends officer after FN man says he was taken on starlightOPP suspends officer after FN man says he was taken on starlight

first_imgBy Meagan FiddlerAPTN National NewsRED LAKE, Ont.-Stanley Fiddler says he was taken on a starlight tour by an OPP officer who picked him up on Oct. 29, drove down a highway, opened the door to the cruiser and dropped him off several kilometres from Red Lake, Ont.The officer has since been suspended by the OPP which is conducting an internal investigation of the incident.“He didn’t say nothing, just drove off down Hwy 35,” said Fiddler, in an interview with APTN National News. “He just opened the door and that is all.”Fiddler, from Sandy Lake First Nation, is an alcoholic who lives on the streets in this town about 300 kilometres north of Kenora, Ont.Venessa Keesick saw Fiddler walking down the highway that night, making his way back to town. She asked Fiddler what happened and then filed a complaint with the OPP.“(Fiddler) told me he had been drinking. He got picked up. He thought he was going to jail to sleep it off, but no, they turned down the highway and kept going and going,” said Keesick, in an interview. “He did say that he did distinguish the officer because he had an accent.”The complaint seems to be substantiated by the officer’s suspension.“The OPP is conducting an internal investigation into the release of a person in custody bya  member of the Red Lake OPP detachment,” said a statement from the OPP. “A member of the Red Lake OPP detachment has been suspended from durty.”Keesick said she wasn’t surprised by Fiddler’s story of a starlight tour.“It’s happened before, but years ago to my friend and I’ve heard it happen before, but it’s pretty close to home because I used to work with the guy,” she said.Keesick got to know Fiddler at Red Lake’s emergency shelter.Sandy Middleton, the manager at the shelter, said he’s heard the same thing.“I’ve heard of it happening before, but it’s substantiated,” said Middleton.Middleton’s work with the homeless at the shelter gives him a good perspective of their daily struggles. He hopes this isn’t one more hardship added to Fiddler’s already full plate.“I think, if it did happen, it shouldn’t. These are people that really don’t have the acumen to look after themselves that you or i may. They depend on others to do that for them,” he said.Keesick says that’s why she filed the complaint, because she knew Fiddler wouldn’t.“Most of these people don’t have a voice. They keep quiet about bad things that happen,” she said.mfiddler@aptn.calast_img read more

Kanesatake council racks up 31000 legal bill in only six days fightingKanesatake council racks up 31000 legal bill in only six days fighting

first_imgBy Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsThe Mohawk Council of Kanesatake is facing a $31,000 bill for just six days of legal work battling its own grand chief and the board of the community’s health centre, according to an invoice submitted to the band council by the Delegatus law firm, based in Montreal.The invoice document is circulating through the community, which sits west of Montreal and was at the centre of the Oka crisis in 1990.It seems the court battle has come at a high financial cost for the band, which is already facing an about $4 million deficit.The legal battle has triggered the loss of insurance coverage for the health centre’s board. That means the centre could be taken over by a federally appointed Third Party Manager. Recently the financially-troubled health centre was in danger of failing to meet its payroll, forcing the Kanesatake Grand Chief to pay $6,500 out of his own personal savings to help cover the shortfall.At the centre of the trouble is a divided band council.Grand Chief Serge Simon stripped two band chiefs (in Kanesatake band councillors are known as chiefs) of their health portfolios and removed them from the health centre’s board. According to Simon he wanted to separate politics from the running of the health centre. However, four chiefs on council said Simon’s actions were illegal. They slapped both Simon and the health board with court action.The council has been split this way since the 2011 election. Four chiefs nicknamed “the quorum” have consistently blocked Simon and his minority of two of his supporters on council.The legal battle between the four band councillors and the health centre’s board is ongoing, a court date is set for the end of August.Chief Sheila Bonspiel, part of the group that launched the legal battle, blames Simon for the trouble. She says he refused mediation on the health board issue.“That is part of business, we have a responsibility,” said Bonspiel. “We had no choice but to defend the collective interest of the people…. (Simon) just wants to take us down.”As for the legal bills, Bonspiel said the law firm lowered their rates after negotiations. She said bill represents the bulk of the preparatory work for the legal battle.The document shows that legal work ranged from preparing a motion for the injunction, strategic meetings, a review of the final motion and an appearance before the Quebec provincial court, among other tasks.Simon could not be reached to comment on the issue of the legal bills.While the “quorum” chiefs are using band council moneys for their legal fees, Simon said he paid his lawyer out of his own pocket.Simon tried to remove his opposition in a non-confidence referendum on earlier this month.The “quorum chiefs,” which include chiefs Bonspiel, Shannon Nicholas, Kathy Daye and Sonya Gagnier, lost that vote on June 15.Simon and his supporters on the council, chiefs Clarence Simon and John Canatonquin, won.Aboriginal Affairs, however, won’t recognize the referendum’s outcome.The quorum chiefs agree with that decision and say the non-confidence vote was illegal.Bonspiel said many community members “boycotted” the referendum which saw about 230 people vote. About 550 people voted during the 2011 election.Simon also paid for the referendum from his own pocket, a move Bonspiel said delegitimized the process.“It’s more than unethical, it’s unbelievable, there was no impartiality in that vote,” she said.Simon, however, says the referendum reflected the will of the community and has previously pointed out that the 212 non-confidence votes Bonspiel received in the referendum topped the 211 votes she received as councillor in the August 2011 vote.Simon received 305 votes for grand chief during that vote and 209 votes of confidence in the referendum.Simon recently sent a statement to APTN National News blasting Ottawa for refusing to recognize the referendum’s results.“It’s clear that our human rights are being violated,” said Simon, in the statement. “The government must stop its interference in our internal affairs.”Simon said he plans to hold a public meeting and hopes to hold a general election in read more

PM Trudeau tasks Bennett with leading renewal of relationship between Canada IndigenousPM Trudeau tasks Bennett with leading renewal of relationship between Canada Indigenous

first_imgAPTN National News OTTAWA—Prime Minister Justin Trudeau directed Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett to lead the renewal of “the relationship between Canada and Indigenous peoples,” according to a mandate letter released publicly Friday.The mandate letters outline the prime minister’s priorities for individual ministers. While the letters are traditionally kept confidential, the Trudeau government decided to release the documents as a show of transparency.The letters appear to show that the Trudeau government is serious about renewing the relationship between the federal government and Indigenous peoples. While Bennett has been tasked with leading the engagement, the Trudeau government believes all cabinet ministers have a responsibility to support the task, according to the letters.“No relationship is more important to me and to Canada than the one with Indigenous peoples,” wrote Trudeau in a paragraph contained in all the mandate letters. “It is time for a renewed, nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples, based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership.”Trudeau’s mandate letter to Bennett essentially restates the Liberal party’s campaign promises on the Indigenous affairs file.Trudeau has directed Bennett to work on lifting the two per cent cap on First Nation funding, review all federal laws to ensure they comply with Aboriginal rights and help establish an inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women, according to the mandate letter.“As Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, your overarching goal will be to renew the relationship between Canada and Indigenous Peoples.  This renewal must be a nation-to-nation relationship, based on recognition, rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership,” wrote Trudeau in the mandate letter to Bennett. “I expect you to re-engage in a renewed nation-to-nation process with Indigenous Peoples to make real progress on the issues most important to First Nations, the Métis Nation, and Inuit communities – issues like housing, employment, health and mental health care, community safety and policing, child welfare, and education.”While offering no concrete details, the letters provide the broad strokes of the Liberal government’s sweeping plan to change the relationship with Canada’s Indigenous peoples.Trudeau is scheduled to meet with Indigenous leaders in December in a gathering timed to coincide with the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) final report. Currently, Dec. 15 is being floated as the possible date for the meeting.The prime minister has also been invited to speak at the Assembly of First Nations special chiefs assembly scheduled to begin Dec. 8 at a casino in Gatineau, Que., which sits across the Ottawa River from the national capital.The top item in Bennett’s mandate letter deals with implementing the TRC’s 94 recommendations which were released earlier this year.Trudeau directs Bennett to “support the work of reconciliation and continue the necessary process of truth telling and healing, work with provinces and territories and First Nations, the Metis Nation and Inuit to implement recommendations of the (TRC), starting with the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”The letter also directs Bennett to work with Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to develop the approach and mandate for the promised inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women. It will be up to Bennett and Wilson-Raybould to identify the lead minister on the inquiry, the letter said.Bennett and Wilson-Raybould will also be working on a review of all federal “laws, polices and operational practices” to ensure they comply with constitutionally enshrined Aboriginal and treaty rights along with the obligations set out in the UN declaration, according to the letter.In another directive that could have a profound impact, Trudeau directed Bennett to work with Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr and Environment Minister and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna to amend environmental assessment legislation to enhance consultation with Indigenous peoples and improve the ability of Indigenous groups to review and monitor resource projects.It’s unclear how these amendments will impact projects now in the regulatory review process. The National Energy Board is currently holding hearings on TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline.Trudeau also directs Bennett to make “significant new investments” in First Nation on-reserve education under the principle of First Nations control of First Nations education.On the infrastructure front, Bennett is expected to work with Infrastructure and Communities Minister Amarjeet Sohi to find investments to improve living conditions in Indigenous communities.Bennett will also be responsible for working with residential school survivors, Indigenous communities along with the provinces and territories to ensure information on Aboriginal rights, residential schools and Indigenous contributions to Canada’s evolution is included in school curricula, said the letter.In addition, Bennett’s agenda includes improving the Nutrition North food subsidy programs for northern communities, contributing to consultations on developing a national early learning and childcare framework, increasing available shelter spaces for families facing domestic violence and pushing for economic development and job creation for Indigenous read more

New report card gives mmiwg inquiry failing gradeNew report card gives mmiwg inquiry failing grade

first_imgNWAC says MMIWG Inquiry needs improvement Kathleen MartensAPTN NewsA national women’s group still supports extending the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) despite giving it a failing grade.The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) released its third report card on the two-year inquiry Monday.It issued five failures, three passes and seven incompletes in 15 areas.“As we are coming down to the last eight months of this inquiry, at this point we should have seen more successes,” said NWAC president Francyne Joe.Both communication and transparency are problem areas, Joe added.“We should be coming to have an idea of how we’re going to rectify the situation,” she told APTN News.Still, Joe said her organization backs the commissioners’ request for another two years and additional $50 million “as long as there are families and survivors who want to use this avenue” to testify.Without an extension the inquiry is scheduled to wrap up in December 2018. It concluded community hearings in April and moves on to its next phase of hearings next week in Quebec.Commissioner Qajaq Robinson said there has been no news on the extension from Carolyn Bennett, the minister for Crown-Indigenous Relations.“I don’t have an ETA,” said an email from Bennett’s office Tuesday. “It’s being worked on.”Joe said Bennett shouldn’t keep families and survivors in the dark when it comes to an extension.“That announcement has taken too long,” she said.Robinson said the wait was having a negative effect on the inquiry, as well.“It really affects our planning,” she said in an interview.Robinson thanked NWAC for its feedback, noting the “constructive criticisms” were “important” to their work.NWAC failed the inquiry on its timelines, communication, community relations, building capacity and establishing advisory bodies.It granted a passing grade for honouring and commemorating MMIWG, its interim report, and promoting and enhancing reconciliation.But it said it “cannot assess” recommendations that are still missing at this time, and noted “action (is) required” to make the inquiry process more responsive and inclusive.last_img read more

Federal court approves settlement for Indian day school class actionFederal court approves settlement for Indian day school class action

first_imgStudents in front of Trout Lake Indian Day School in Ontario. File photo.APTN NewsThe Federal Court has approved a settlement agreement for survivors of Indian day schools.Under the terms of the settlement, survivors will be able to apply for individual compensation for harms, including physical and sexual abuse, linked to attending one of the federally-run institutions.Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett says the court’s decision marks recognition of the hard work undertaken by all sides toward finding a lasting and meaningful resolution for former students and their families.“The mistreatment of Indigenous children is a tragic and shameful part of Canada’s history that has had devastating effects on generations of families,” Bennett said in a statement Monday. “Canada is deeply committed to reconciliation and healing, and will continue the important work of making amends for past wrongs.Garry McLean launched a class action lawsuit in 2009 against Canada over the abuse and harms inflicted upon Indigenous students who were forced to attend Indian Day Schools across Canada.McLean, a day school survivor, died earlier this year from cancer — just two months after he and federal government officials announced they had reached a tentative agreement for the settlement.Garry McLean, the lead plaintiff in the Federal Indian Day School class action lawsuit, died last February at the age of 67. File photo.The class action was certified on consent in June 2018.The plaintiffs and government concluded a settlement agreement on March 12 of this year, just a few weeks after McLean’s passing.The settlement provides compensation to Indian Day School survivors based on the level of harm suffered and establishes a $200 million legacy fund to support commemoration events, wellness and healing projects, and the restoration of Indigenous languages and culture.A 90-day opt-out period and a 60-day appeal period will begin now that the settlement has been approved, meaning that any class member who does not agree with its terms can choose to remove themselves from the process.Nearly 200,000 Indigenous children attended more than 700 Indian day schools beginning in the 1920s, often enduring trauma that in some cases included physical and sexual abuse.The schools operated separately from the residential school system and were not included in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement approved in 2006.Survivors of federal Indian Day Schools were excluded from the 2007 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.With files from The Canadian read more

Transgender job fair aims to help integrate trans people into workforceTransgender job fair aims to help integrate trans people into workforce

first_imgTORONTO – A Toronto transgender woman is holding a job fair geared toward transgender and gender-nonconforming people to try to spark systemic change in the Canadian workforce.Biko Beauttah, who came to Canada as a refugee from Kenya 11 years ago, says transgender people often struggle to find work in conventional jobs and turn to things like drug dealing and the sex trade.She started Trans Workforce, an organization that is setting up next week’s job fair and supports the transgender community in Toronto. After multiple attempts to set up the job fair, Beauttah said she was able to set up the event with help from LGBTQ community groups.“The idea came around based on my lived experience and my inability to find work despite having nine years of post-secondary education,” said Beauttah, a transgender woman who identifies as female.“The continued marginalization of trans people, you can see it with how we’re not represented in the corporate structure … we’re not given enough options,” said Beauttah.The absence of transgender people in the general workforce is something Beauttah sees as one of the major unresolved issues in the LGBTQ rights movement.Beauttah said there will be around 15 employers at the job fair, which will take place on Nov. 20. Some potential employers include the Canadian Armed Forces, Toronto-Dominion Bank and Indigo.As more companies began to show their interest in the fair, Beauttah said that picking employers who actively wanted to normalize the presence of trans people in their workforce was an important factor.A Facebook event page for the group shows more than 200 people are either interested in the event or plan to attend.While Beauttah hopes that events like these will catch on in other cities, she also said that the transgender and gender-nonconforming community could soon reach a point where they don’t need to rely on her organization.“I hope there comes a time when Trans Workforce isn’t really needed because people will be hiring people because of their skill and talent, and not based on their gender,” said Beauttah.last_img read more

Kinder Morgan pushes back planned spending on Trans Mountain expansion projectKinder Morgan pushes back planned spending on Trans Mountain expansion project

first_imgCALGARY – Kinder Morgan Canada (TSX:KML) says it is still not in a position to start significant construction on the Trans Mountain expansion project and expects spending on the project for at least part of next year to focus mostly on permitting.In its 2018 guidance, the company said it expects existing assets including its existing Trans Mountain pipeline and its rail and storage facilities to perform well, but is concerned about permit delays at its $7.4-billion pipeline expansion project.The company has filed motions with the National Energy Board to resolve delays related to Burnaby, B.C., with oral arguments heard at the regulator’s headquarters Monday.Kinder Morgan Canada says it can’t commit to major construction spending until it has more clarity on key permits, approvals and the judicial review, and that the project is potentially already delayed nine months due mostly to challenges with the regulatory process.The company says that it expects to lose about $75 million in earnings before certain deductions for every month the in-service date is pushed back.Kinder Morgan Canada said if uncertainty on permitting stretches further into 2018 then it would reduce spending accordingly, pushing the start-up date beyond September 2020 and potentially threatening the viability of the project itself.last_img read more

France investigating Apples secret slowdown of old iPhonesFrance investigating Apples secret slowdown of old iPhones

first_imgPARIS – French authorities have opened an investigation into Apple over revelations it secretly slowed down older versions of its iPhones, the Paris prosecutor’s office said Tuesday.The preliminary probe was opened last week over alleged “deception and planned obsolescence” of some Apple products, the office said. It is led by the French body in charge of fraud control, which is part of the finance ministry.It follows a legal complaint filed in December by a French consumer rights group whose aim is to stop the intentional obsolescence of goods by companies.In France it is illegal to intentionally shorten the lifespan of a product in order to encourage customers replace it. A 2015 law makes that a crime, with penalties of up to two years in prison and fines of up to 5 per cent of the company’s annual turnover.Apple apologized in December for secretly slowing down older iPhones, a move it said was necessary to avoid unexpected shutdowns related to battery fatigue. As part of its contrition, Apple is now offering to replace the batteries on older iPhones for $29, a $50 discount from the usual price.But Apple also has denied the slowdown of the older phones is a ploy designed to spur sales of newer models. “We have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades,” the company said on its website.Apple France didn’t respond to email and phone requests for comment on the latest legal developments in France from The Associated Press.Lawsuits against the company have also been filed in the U.S. and Israel.Creative Strategies analyst Carolina Milanesi believes Apple’s throttling of older iPhones is helping to extend the devices’ lives by enabling to take advantage of the new features in the company’s free software updates each year.The company’s choice boiled down to “let the phone just run at full speed and kill the prematurely aged batteries or slow down the phone so the battery would last longer,” Milanesi wrote in a recent analysis.The French consumer rights group, called HOP, filed a lawsuit on Dec. 27. Its statement claims Apple slowed down older smartphones in order to make clients buy the new iPhone 8, which was launched on the market around the same time.Benchmark tests have suggested the slowdown isn’t huge, but noticeable. Although Apple has said that’s done to prevent iPhones from unexpectedly shutting down because of weak batteries, lawsuits filed against Apple say that its failure to disclose that right away could have led some people to wrongly conclude they needed a newer, faster phone rather than just a new battery.Laetitia Vasseur, the director of HOP, said studies have showed that peaks in speed reductions match the releases of new phones on the market.“We can see that there is an intention to have people buy new phones because of the speed reduction,” she told the AP.Vasseur said her group launched a survey following its complaint so that users can report problems they have faced. In 10 days, HOP has received more than 3,000 reports that will be handed over to the DGCCRF, the government fraud watchdog in charge of the investigation, she said.Vasseur said she hopes that the consequences globally could be to go toward more sustainable and durable products “for all manufacturers that won’t want to face the same kind of scandal.”A similar investigation targeting Japanese printer-maker Epson was opened in November, also following a complaint by HOP.The Epson probe, was launched by another prosecutor’s office, in Nanterre outside Paris, is related to some of its ink cartridges and printers’ spare parts. It was the first legal action ever for planned obsolescence and deception in France, HOP said in a statement.Epson has denied any wrongdoing, saying that planned obsolescence is not part of the company’s policy.In the French legal system, preliminary investigations are launched and led by prosecutors’ offices. Such probes can last weeks or months. When they’re over, prosecutors can either decide to drop the cases or to send them to investigating judges for full investigations. Judges, in turn, can also dismiss the cases, due to lack of evidence for instance, or send them to courts for trial. In these cases, the whole process may last months or even years.Since Epson and Apple cases are the first legal actions for planned obsolescence in France, there hasn’t been case law yet on possible penalties, fines or damages awarded by courts under this particular offence.Any fine imposed on Apple would probably hurt its pride more than its pocketbook. The company has accumulated nearly $270 billion in cash from its sales of iPhones and other products.___Alex Turnbull in Paris and AP Technology Writer Michael Liedtke in San Francisco contributed to the reportlast_img read more

US officials consider new tool to combat mine spills RobotsUS officials consider new tool to combat mine spills Robots

first_imgDENVER – Crumbling mine tunnels awash with polluted waters perforate the Colorado mountains, and scientists may one day send robots creeping through the pitch-black passages to study the mysterious currents that sometimes burst to the surface with devastating effects.One such disaster happened at the inactive Gold King Mine in southwestern Colorado in 2015, when the Environmental Protection Agency accidentally triggered the release of 3 million gallons (11 million litres) of mustard-colored water laden with arsenic, lead and other contaminants. The spill tainted rivers in three states.Now, the EPA is considering using robots and other sophisticated technology to help prevent these types of “blowouts” or clean them up if they happen. But first the agency has to find out what’s inside the mines, some of which date to Colorado’s gold rush in the 1860s.Wastewater containing toxic heavy metals has been spewing from hundreds of inactive mines nationwide for decades, the product of complicated and sometimes poorly understood subterranean flows.Mining creates tainted water in steps: Blasting out tunnels and processing ore exposes long-buried, sulfur-bearing rocks to oxygen. The sulfur and oxygen mix with natural underground water flows to create sulfuric acid. The acidic water then leaches heavy metals out of the rocks.To manage and treat the wastewater, the EPA needs a clear idea of what’s inside the mines, some of which penetrate thousands of feet into the mountains. But many old mines are poorly documented.Investigating with robots would be cheaper, faster and safer than humans.“You can send a robot into an area that doesn’t have good air quality. You can send a robot into an area that doesn’t have much space,” said Rebecca Thomas, project manager for the EPA’s newly created Gold King Superfund site, officially known as the Bonita Peak Mining District.Instruments on the robots could map the mines and analyze pollutants in the water.They would look more like golf carts than the personable robots from “Star Wars” movies. Hao Zhang, an assistant professor of computer science at the Colorado School of Mines, envisions a battery-powered robot about 5 feet (1.5 metres) long with wheels or tracks to get through collapsing, rubble-strewn tunnels.Zhang and a team of students demonstrated a smaller robot in a mine west of Denver recently. It purred smoothly along flat tunnel floors but toppled over trying to negotiate a cluttered passage.“The terrain is pretty rough,” Zhang said. “It’s hard for even humans to navigate in that environment.”A commercial robot modified to explore abandoned mines — including those swamped with acidic wastewater — could cost about $90,000 and take three to four years to develop, Zhang said.Significant obstacles remain, including finding a way to operate remotely while deep inside a mine, beyond the reach of radio signals. One option is dropping signal-relay devices along the way so the robot stays in touch with operators. Another is designing an autonomous robot that could find its own way.Researchers also are developing sophisticated computerized maps showing mines in three dimensions. The maps illustrate where the shafts intersect with natural faults and provide clues about how water courses through the mountains.“It really helps us understand where we have certainty and where we have a lot of uncertainty about what we think’s happening in the subsurface,” said Ian Bowen, an EPA hydrologist. “So it’s a wonderful, wonderful tool.”The EPA also plans to drill into mines from the surface and lower instruments into the bore holes, measuring the depth, pressure and direction of underground water currents.Tracing the currents is a challenge because they flow through multiple mines and surface debris. Many tunnels and faults are connected, so blocking one might send water out another.“You put your finger in the dike here, where’s the water going to come out?” Thomas said.Once the EPA finishes investigating, it will look at technologies for cleansing the wastewater.Options range from traditional lime neutralization — which causes the heavy metals dissolved in the water to form particles and drop out — to more unusual techniques that involve introducing microbes.The choice has consequences for taxpayers. If no company is found financially responsible, the EPA pays the bill for about 10 years and then turns it over to the state. Colorado currently pays about $1 million a year to operate a treatment plant at one Superfund mine. By 2028, it will pay about $5.7 million annually to operate plants at three mines, not including anything at the Bonita Peak site.The EPA views the Colorado project as a chance for the government and entrepreneurs to take risks and try technology that might be useful elsewhere.But the agency — already dealing with a distrustful public and critical politicians after triggering the Gold King spill — said any technology deployed in Colorado will be tested first, and the public will have a chance to comment before decisions are made.“We’re certainly not going to be in the position of making things worse,” Thomas said. “So when I say we want to take risks, we do, but we want to take calculated, educated risks and not worsen water quality.”___Follow Dan Elliott at . His work can be found at .last_img read more

Chetwynd RCMP assures community after FB posts suggest abduction attemptsChetwynd RCMP assures community after FB posts suggest abduction attempts

first_imgCHETWYND, B.C. – The Chetwynd RCMP are reassuring residents after posts on social media suggested there were three abduction attempts in the community over the last week.Cpl. Andrew McElwain of the Chetwynd RCMP cautions, I appreciate that social media has a place in adding to community safety, in that information can be shared quickly and efficiently, however, I cannot stress enough the importance of garnering information from credible reliable sources prior to sharing it. Rumours and misinformation can be more damaging to investigations than helpful and may cause more fear than is warranted especially when isolated incidents are linked, where no evidence to support such links exists.At this time the RCMP don’t believe the three incidents listed below are connected. On October 11, 2018, a woman met a man, who was unknown to her, in a local coffee shop. She chose to get into the man’s vehicle, who was allegedly intoxicated. Given his level of intoxication, the woman asked to let out. The man dropped the woman off as per her request. The man allegedly offered the woman money and a pack of cigarettes as she was unable to locate her phone. The man has been identified.On October 11, 2018, two youths were walking home when a man in a vehicle of unknown make and model allegedly approached them and offered $100 to the female youth to get into the vehicle. The girl declined and the two youths continued walking away. No other contact was made. Chetwynd RCMP are still looking for this man, but have identified a possible suspect.On October 15, 2018 a male youth was at IGA when an aboriginal man allegedly approached him and asked if the youth could buy him something from IGA. The youth declined the request at which point the aboriginal male lunged at him. The youth then got on his bike and rode to the Rec Center where it was reported to the Chetwynd RCMP.last_img read more

India has gender disparity in education, healthcareIndia has gender disparity in education, healthcare

first_imgNearly 54 per cent young women in India are not in education, employment or any kind of training, which is 15 times higher compared to young women and men worldwide, suggesting fewer opportunities for the fairer sex to enter the workforce, finds a Lancet study. The findings showed that globally, the number of 15-24-year-olds not in education, employment or training is estimated to be around three times higher for young women (175 million) than young men (63 million). Also Read – An income drop can harm brainBut, the prevalence in India is over 15 times higher in young women than in young men (nearly 54 per cent compared to 3.5 per cent). “Achieving gender equity in determinants of adolescent health and wellbeing will require action on many fronts, including employment and economic empowerment, better access to essential health care including contraception,” said Professor George Patton from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and University of Melbourne in Australia. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardIt also includes implementation of legislative frameworks to protect girls from early marriage, and changes in community norms, Patton said. The study, which tracked recent global changes to adolescent health in 195 countries, estimated that, compared with 1990, an additional 250 million adolescents in 2016 were living in countries where they faced a triple burden of infectious disease, non-communicable diseases including obesity, and injuries – including from violence. Besides the prevalence of anaemia was found to be over 50 per cent among young women in India.last_img read more

No north-south divide in content anymore: ”Badla” actor Tony LukeNo north-south divide in content anymore: ”Badla” actor Tony Luke

first_imgMumbai: Malayalam actor Tony Luke says the fact that his performance in his Hindi debut “Badla” was well-received reflects there is no divide between talent from north and south. Tony made his acting debut in 2016 with the Malayalam movie “Oozham” and has since featured in three more films in south film industry. “Today an actor has a future in the film industry because content rules. The North and South have come together. Now it’s about Indian content versus the global, not North and South,” Tony told PTI. Also Read – Hilarie Burton, Jeffery Dean Morgan tie the knot “There are people like Karan Johar and Rajamouli coming together, to make truly Indian cinema and the times are only going to change for the better,” he added. Tony said when the project came his way, he was initially reluctant to audition as he felt there was “no chance” he would make it. “I thought my Hindi is bad, because I’m from the South so I didn’t even believe I could be a part of it, until Sujoy met me and said ‘you’re the boy.’ Sujoy decided to place me as an actor and I’m grateful for that. There’s no heavy pressure on me to be a star,” he said. Also Read – ‘Vaastav’ gave me the real sense of being an actor: Sanjay Dutt on film’s 20-year anniversary The actor said he feels “blessed” that he bagged the thriller, where his biggest takeaway was learning from megastar Amitabh Bachchan. “If someone told me last year that I would be a part of a big film such as this, I would’ve laughed it off. To be on the set and watch Mr Bachchan perform is surreal. As an actor, you take away so much just by observing him and imbibing his energy.” Going forward, Tony said, if everything falls in place, he will be soon seen in an international web series.last_img read more

Govt refuses to disclose details on RBI Governor’s appointmentGovt refuses to disclose details on RBI Governor’s appointment

first_imgNew Delhi: The Centre has refused to share details related to the appointment of RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das citing a clause in the transparency law which bars disclosure of information, including “records of deliberations of the council of ministers, secretaries and other officers”. Replying to an RTI query, it declined to share the details, including names of short-listed candidates and file notings related to the appointment. Das was on December 11, 2018 named as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for three years. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal The appointment came after Urjit Patel abruptly resigned amid a face-off with the government over issues related to governance and autonomy of the central bank. The RTI application was filed by this correspondent with the Department of Financial Services (DFS) seeking details like copy of any advertisement or vacancy circular issued by the government on appointment of RBI Governor, names of all applicants who had applied for the post and those short-listed for the top post. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost The DFS was also asked to provide details on composition of search committee to short-list candidates and copy of minutes of meetings held on deciding the RBI Governor. In its reply, the DFS said the selection of Governor, RBI is done by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet on the basis of recommendation made by the Financial Sector Regulatory Appointments Search Committee (FSRASC). The committee is headed by cabinet secretary as its chairperson and has additional principal secretary to Prime Minister and secretary of the department concerned besides three outside experts as its members, the DFS said, without giving the names of the experts. It had then forwarded the application to the cabinet secretariat. “In this regard, it is informed that the requisite information about appointment of Shaktikanta Das as Governor, Reserve Bank of India, being Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) related file notings/documents/records, is exempted from disclosure under Section 8 (1) (i) of the Right to Information Act 205,” the cabinet secretariat said in its reply to the RTI application. The section bars disclosure of “cabinet papers, including records of deliberations of the council of ministers, secretaries and other officers”. The section, however, says that the decisions of council of ministers, the reasons thereof, and the material on the basis of which the decisions were taken shall be made public after the decision has been taken, and the matter is complete, or over. Das, a 1980-batch IAS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre, retired as Economic Affairs Secretary in May 2017 and was since appointed India’s Sherpa to the G-20 and a member of the Finance Commission. Urjit Patel, who initially appeared to have toed the government line on issues like demonetisation, clashed with the Finance Ministry last year over issues of liquidity, reserves of the central bank and lending norms. The face-off had led to the government invoking a never-used-before provision of the RBI Act to bring the Governor to the negotiating table on these issues. After Das’ appointment was announced, Indian-American economist Abhijit Banerjee flayed the government for appointing the retired bureaucrat as the RBI Governor. He also warned that the decision leaves a lot of “frightening” questions about governance issues at key public institutions. Banerjee, Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), had made a strong pitch for strengthening the credibility of all key institutions like the RBI. On Patel’s sudden resignation, he had said, “We should all worry if this is a sign of institutional stress.” Addressing a function a day after Das’ appointment, former chief economic advisor Arvind Subramanian said the central bank’s autonomy was “sacred” which should not be compromised.last_img read more